A successful career in acting requires you to have both talent and experience with a little bit of luck. An actor can be heard and seen everywhere — on the big screen, televisions, theatre, in videos, on the internet, and even on podcasts.
They portray different characters and emotions to bind the audience. Some actors work towards being a part of varying entertainment channels, while others stick to performing on stage, using their voice and acting skills to create a new world.
Becoming an actor in Australia can be extremely challenging. However, with professional training, relentless determination, and strong endurance to face the constant rejections and unavoidable situations, nothing can stop you from reaching your dreams.
If you are aspiring for a career in acting, read this post and get to know everything about how to become a famous actor in Australia.
1. What Does an Actor Do?
An actor or actress is someone who portrays a role or a character and performs in productions like television, theatre, film, podcasts, and radio. An actor goes through the process of auditioning to get a part, and if selected, he rehearses the role and brings the character to life in front of an audience.
They might work on different levels of the profession, such as acting in leading roles or being an extra in a larger cast.
All in all, as an actor takes up several roles, he or she needs to possess talent, self-motivation, creativity, confidence, and commitment.
2. Major Duties and Tasks of an Actor
Auditioning: The life of an actor revolves around auditions, which is basically a sample performance or an interview to show your suitability and skills for a particular role.
Meeting with Agent: As an actor, before you accept a particular part, you first need to meet with the agent and discuss what your performance would entail. Additionally, the actor also meets up with other professionals before starting the work.
Researching: Actors have to conduct thorough research on the lifestyle, traits, and the situations surrounding their character so that they can present themselves authentically to the audience.
Reading Scripts: In order to understand their role better and deliver lines, actors need to read the script. Only with the help of a script, an actor interprets their role.
Memorizing: Actors cannot hold their script while performing, so they need to memorize their lines to depict their character effectively. Sometimes when performing on set, the director might decide to change the lines on the script, so the actor needs to learn those on the spot.
Discussing the Role: An actor talks about his role with other actors and the director so that they can exchange viewpoints and the actor can improve his overall performance.
Rehearsing: The actor has to rehearse his part several times individually and also with the other actors in front of the production team. This helps to check their gestures on stage or camera so that they can deliver the best performance.
Performing: The performance of an actor holds a critical role in acting. An actor needs to follow the directions given by the director and then perform accordingly.
Learning New Skills: As per the actor’s character, he or she might have to learn skills, such as singing, dancing, horseback riding, and learning karate.
Note: In Australia, most actors are hired by film producers, television companies, broadcasting corporations, theatre companies, and advertising agencies. Actors need to be committed, patient, and determined as work can be unpredictable, and production and rehearsal schedules can be too demanding.
3. What are the Educational and Training Requirements for an Actor in Australia?
You do not require a qualification to work as an actor. However, it is recommended that you undergo formal training to increase your chances of getting work. Your interest and acting skills, along with your previous experience in acting, will determine your acceptance into formal courses.
You can take up a VET qualification in acting, screen performance, performing arts, and theatre or music theatre. Additionally, you can become an actor by pursuing a degree in drama, music theatre, performing arts, or just theatre. You need to receive the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in English to enter such courses.
Remember, there is high competition in these places, so you might have to give a practical test, an audition, or an interview. However, some even have flexible entry requirements, depending on which institution you attend.
4. Where Should You Consider Acting Training and Why?
Even though you are not required to have professional acting experience to become an actor, formal and advanced training can help you to land a role.
You surely must have heard of “The Big Three” - Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), and the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA).
These are prestigious and well-known institutions in Australia that offer both vocational education and training and full-time bachelor level courses in acting. Let us learn more about them:
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts: It is situated in the suburbs of Perth and is considered one of the most reputed drama schools by several industry professionals. WAAPA offers an isolated and independent training setting, which helps to produce remarkable actors. Some of the most famous alumni of WAAPA include Jai Courtney, Hugh Jackman, and Frances O’Connor.
Other than the above three, you can also join Actors Centre Australia (ACA), which is renowned in the industry. It follows an industry-focused and practical approach that has helped to produce exceptional talent like Jonathan LaPaglia and Rose Byrne.
Furthermore, you can try exploring the best opportunities in your region and look for drop-in or short-term classes. This is a more casual path towards your training as an actor, but it can still help you educate yourself more about acting and develop you as an actor. If you are interested in taking this path, Perform Australia is a great place to start.
The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) usually hold acting auditions in November every year in most territories and states of Australia.
Perform Australia has admissions in February and July, with auditions being conducted in the months before the start of the programme.
The auditions at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) take place in the months of November and early December.
To get detailed information, you must visit the respective websites of these institutions.
5. How do you Find Acting Roles in Australia to Audition For?
It would be best if you always looked for acting auditions that are right for you. One of the best ways to find acting work is through an agent who has links with other associates and casting directors, and who also has television and studio contacts.
Overall, having an agent serves as a trigger to get auditions. If you have decided to proceed further without an agent, or you have not found an agent yet, you should check out the website of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.
6. Do you Need an Agent to Become an Actor in Australia?
Yes, you do need an agent in Australia. Having an agent comes with its own benefits, putting you in a better place to find work. They not only have connections with casting directors, but they also negotiate and discuss terms of contracts with the director so that you receive what you deserve the most.
Most times, the number of auditions and jobs you get reflects the relationship you have with your agent. You also need to put in the equal amount of effort that you expect from your agent. He or she may help you land the audition, but ultimately you are the one who needs to get the job done.
Hence, to get the full benefit from your agent, you must make sure that you instantly respond to their questions and make use of every opportunity they offer you, regardless of whether you want it or not.
Even though there are several examples of agents discovering talented individuals who achieve great success, on the whole, this is not the way how you get an agent. You always need to keep in mind that agents have valuable ties with various filmmakers and casting directors, so you not just have to focus on getting an agent, but also take charge of the situation and be diligent about it.
For instance, you can email them and ask them to watch the episode you are acting in, invite them to a show you are performing in, or ask for their assistance to arrange a meeting of your interest. The only thing you need to be careful about is that you are not turning your proactive nature into bothering the agent time and again.
7. How Much Do Actors Get Paid in Australia?
The question of how much do actors get paid entirely depends upon the type of role they perform, their expertise, and even their geographical location.
Usually, metropolitan areas or cities where performing arts are more popular offer higher wages than rural areas or places that are miles away from production facilities.
All in all, the location can really help to determine the average earnings of an aspiring actor. According to PayScale, the average earnings of an actor or actress in Australia is between AU$36,495 - AU$193,916 per year.
8. Tips Required to Become a Successful Actor in Australia
If you are wondering how to become an actor with no experience, just follow the tips and advice mentioned below and get your acting career off to a great start!
When it comes to building an acting career, it is crucial to create a great network. Remember, most actors get new work based on whom they know in the industry.
This is the primary reason why even famous actors make sure to attend every type of event, such as award shows, fashion shows, fundraising events, movie launches, etc. — it allows them to meet their potential employers.
Understand That Not Every Role Can Be Accepted
Sometimes, actors become so engrossed in their job and their passion for acting that they completely neglect the commercial aspect of their profession. This implies that actors do not have to take every role they get.
Your agent or manager may try to guide you on which role to perform, but eventually, only you know which part will stand out the most.
Get an Agent
They are the ones who can either make or break your acting career. Hiring the right agent means that he considers your choices, is willing to be honest with you on all fronts and helps you look for appropriate jobs.
Overall, the agent should not hesitate to go out of the way for his client.
Find Your Niche
Every actor needs to find their niche. They can do that by knowing their unique qualities and how to put them to use. You can know your qualities by watching yourself on television, asking others about your attributes, and noting down your amusing behaviours and characteristics.
Once you know your niche, you can then polish specific attributes and ace your acting auditions!
This is all you need to know about how to become an actor in Australia. Just remember, as a budding actor, you will not have an easy career path, so you must prepare for all obstacles that you may come across in your journey as an actor.
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